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Worcester’s Crowleys Earn 2013 Father Bafaro Humanitarian Award

Saturday, September 21, 2013

 

Worcester's Crowley family on the slopes of Mount Wachusett.

Even if you don’t hail from Central Massachusetts, you are quite likely aware of the Crowley family. Think Polar Beverages, owned by the Crowleys. Think Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, managed by the Crowleys. Think philanthropy, of which the Crowleys are generous - almost to a fault.

On October 18, Worcester Community Cable Access Inc.,which operates community-access cable channel WCCA TV13, will honor the Crowleys with the Third Annual Father Michael Bafaro Humanitarian Award.The prominent, successful Worcester family has served the Central Mass. business and charitable worlds for more than 110 years. The Crowleys have long provided support and funding to more than 45 local non-profit organizations.

Just a few of the Crowley family’s philanthropic endeavors have included: helping Worcester County Food Bank fight local hunger;  contributing to the EcoTarium; funding the creation of the current Union Hill Elementary School playground; funding fireworks for Worcester’s annual First Night Celebration; and providing assistance to UMass Memorial Cancer Center. With the help of the Crowleys, WCCA states, several activities and events have occurred in the Greater Worcester community “that would have either not happened or been seriously delayed.”

WCCA’s annual award honors Father Bafaro’s “commitment to justice and equality for all people.” The award is presented to “an individual or organization that has exhibited a long, steadfast, and established allegiance to ensuring that people in Worcester and Central Massachusetts are able to live their lives in a free and open society without discrimination, and they are able to experience the full benefits guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Father Bafaro served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, both in Worcester. He also served as a missionary in Peru, and worked with WCCA TV13 as a past president and producer. He is author, along with Sam Costello, of Stand Tall, Be One: My Life as a Radical Priest.

Maintain youth programs for at-risk youth

The proceeds of WCCA’s annual fundraising event will help the charitable, non-profit community-access, television- and media-technology center to pay for educational and Youth Media Learning Programs. Those initiatives include after-school video-journalism training programs for at-risk youth, summer-youth video-journalism training programs, programs in collaboration with Worcester Public Schools, and internships on WCCA’s News 13 program.

Recently, WCCA found out that youth who went through its Youth Connections collaboration with Worcester Public Schools scored significantly better on their MCAS tests than other students in similar circumstances. These 83.5 percent of these at-risk youth passed the MCAS tests while, while only 50 percent of youth similar to them passed. That represents improvement of more than one-third. 

“These results were affirming evidence that our programs help youth in their academic performance as well as provide them with useful 21st century skills,” WCCA Executive Director Mauro DePasquale states. “Our goal with this event - and other fundraising efforts - is to pay to maintain the youth programs for at-risk youth while seeking sources for long-term funding.”

WCCA requested community-wide nominations for Father Bafaro award, and the Crowley family received the most nominations.  WCCA will present the Crowleys with the award to the Crowleys on October 18at 6:30 p.m. at The Manor inWest Boylston, to which WCCA has invited many local political and business leaders.  The event will include dinner, musical entertainment, and speakers presenting official proclamations of congratulations as well as personal statements about the contributions of the Crowley family. Tickets are $40 per person.

 

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